Detroit at Playwrights Horizons

I forgot to mention that we went to see Detroit at Playwrights Horizons Theater.  It doesn’t actually open officially until tomorrow so it’s probably not fair to say that it really isn’t worth going to see.  The buzz was that it did so well in previews they were going to bring it to Broadway.  It opened Off-Broadway with the following cast: Amy Ryan, David Schwimmer, Darren Pettie, Sarah Sokolovic, and John Cullum. Detroit is about the relationship between two couples who are new neighbors and I think is supposed to be a comedy.  Other than Darren Pettie, the cast is a waste and the play a tad lame.  A good friend of ours couldn’t join us because she caught a bug….this would not have helped her in any way.  It had a running time of 100 minutes with no intermissions [afraid to let the audience escape?].

New York Liberty Game in Newark, NJ

We went to see the New York Liberty play against the Los Angeles Sparks this evening.  The first quarter made me reconsider why we continue to support the Liberty. 

New York Liberty
New York Liberty

It was shockingly bad.  Now that Lisa Leslie is gone, I thought I may actually switch my allegiance to the Sparks.  They looked like an actual team.  Cappy Pondexter carried the Liberty and, believe it or not, New York won the game.  Bill thinks that the Los Angeles team got lulled into a false sense of security when they saw how badly the Liberty played in the first quarter.  It was good entertainment. 🙂

 

  

Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana at Radio City Music Hall in New York City

ZARKANA -Photo-by-OSA

My husband and I were lucky enough to get free tickets to see Cirque du Soleil‘s Zarkana.   Zarkana is a touring arena show that is playing in Radio City Music Hall in New York City.  Our tickets were dead center aisle seats in the fourth row!  Awesome.

The show basically transforms Radio City Music Hall into a Big Top circus, complete with two silly [and not terribly funny] clowns who keep the audience entertained while the sets are changed.  The one bit they did well was when they pulled a young woman from the audience and did some schtick with her.  She was a very good sport. 🙂   The Backstage.com review describes it as:

The essential story is the same: Zark the magician (Paul Bisson) searches for his love in the bowels of an old theater inhabited by a mischievous group of swamis, escaped prisoners, ballerinas, French soldiers, mad scientists, and misfits. He meets with exotic women creatures (all played by Meetu Chilana). In between, acrobats and aerialists perform Cirque’s trademark death-defying feats of skill, including the aptly named Wheel of Death.

 I had a terrific time – there were a couple of fumbles by the aerialists but overall they were superb.  I actually had my hands over my mouth as I watched some of the acts.  I think I was more impressed than the 10-year old boy sitting in front of me. [What the heck does it take to impress kids these days, anyway?  I think they compare live theater to computer generated images…]

Zarkana_ Village Voice

The sets were huge and beautiful.  The music was only mediocre but the voices were lovely.  The Village Voice review by Michael Musto was short and sweet. You should click on the link and read it.

Diet Club With Self Magazine

Icing and some trigger point massage seems to have helped a bit with the sore forearms.  I will continue tonight to see if I can get back to a pain free state.

I signed up for the Self.com Diet Club.  They provide a possible 16 strength and plyometric exercises and a cardio plan. You’re supposed to do the exercises three times a week.  The trainer on the online videos is from SparkPeople.com.  The idea is to exercise as part of a community and to track it online everyday so that you are more aware of your daily food and exercise decisions as well as more accountable.  I’m not that community minded but am giving it a go.

The exercises I did today were:

Hotdog
Regular Hotdog w. ketchup, roll, no mayo – 315 calories
  • Rotating Sculptor- 5 lb weights
  • Bottoms Up- 3 lb weights
  • Reshaping Reach – 10 lb weights
  • Biceps Balancer – 10 lb weights
  • Step Off It – 3 lb weights
  • Rear Raiser
  • Wide High Knee

As I am careful of my knees, I decided to avoid the plyometric exercises for the time being.

 We are heading off to the Staten Island Yankees game tonight with All-You-Can-Eat tickets again.  I’m pretty sure that I saw an article saying hot dogs are a better junk food choice.

I will try to at some without the bun… That should save some calories. LOL

Trigger Point Massage for Forearm Pain From Overuse

My husband and I walked a bit in the park today [he went to the gym without me as my knees are still achy.]  My issue for the day relates to sore forearms from my kickboxing work out on Thursday afternoon.

I haven’t done a kickboxing session since the end of March when I hurt my hand and began a serious bout of traveling!  While it was great fun to be back [and a serious surprise that I was still conscious at the end of the hour] I have been incredibly sore.  My shoulders and forearms have not recovered from my trainer’s tabata rounds of push up and pull up exercises.

All the podcasts I’ve listened to so far agree that strength exercises are best.  Of course they also agree that 90 percent of weight loss is determined by diet and nutrition rather than exercise.  I am easing my way into better nutrition.  As I mentioned previously, I will start by avoiding high fructose corn syrup. 🙂   That’s harder than you’d think as we are attending a Staten Island Yankees game with All-You-Can-Eat tickets.

In the interim, I have just ordered Clair Davies’ The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief, Second Edition from Amazon.com.  I hope that I can begin to work on getting the kinks out of my legs and arms without having to go to a massage therapist.  I decided to use a small racquetball rather than purchasing any massage equipment; the foot log that I purchased a while ago may also come in handy.

I found an article online called Trigger Point Massage. Simple Self-Help for Chronic Pain  by Christian Lemburg, that seems to cover the basic points. 

Trigger Point Rules
1. Trigger points are small, localized muscle cramps that feel like hard lumps or knots in your muscles.
2. Trigger points arise at predictable places in the muscle and cause predictable patterns of referred pain.
3. Trigger points hurt like hell when pressed, and referred pain may be felt, according to the characteristic pattern for that trigger point.
4. Trigger points can be treated by massage.
5. Massage with short, slow strokes in one direction, applying deep pressure.
6. When massaging, use your elbow, your knee, your knuckles, or a ball instead of your fingers. Use a ball between your body and a wall or the floor to reach hard spots.

Read the entire article:  http://www.crossfit.com/journal/library/37_05_trigger_points.pdf

High Fructose Corn Syrup is Bad

I went to see Yayoi Kusama’s Fireflies on the Water at the Whitney Museum. [http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/FirefliesOnTheWater]  It was absolutely amazing.  The exhibit is a small room that only one person may enter at a time.  The museum staff will open the door after one minute.  The sensation is surreal.  You stand upon a small platform surrounded by still water in a mirrored room full of tiny lights.  The space appears to go on forever; the water on the ground is never completely still so its reflection throughout the room means there’s movement around you as well.  I could have happily stayed inside for quite a bit longer.

Yayoi Kusama’s Fireflies on the Water
Yayoi Kusama’s Fireflies on the Water

From the Whitney Museum site: Kusama’s Fireflies on the Water (2002)—with its carefully constructed environment of lights, mirrors, and water—is one of the outstanding examples of this kind of installation, which creates a space in which individual viewers are invited to transcend their sense of self.

 

 

During lunch, my friend and I discussed healthier eating and the dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Here is some info that I found:

In 2010, a Princeton University research team demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.

In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States. ….

Read the entire article:  http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/

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Not everyone agrees that High Fructose corn syrup is any worse for you than regular sugar.  Here’s an excerpt from a MayoClinic.com article about high-fructose corn syrup with some suggestions:

Some research studies have linked consumption of large amounts of any type of added sugar — not just high-fructose corn syrup — to such health problems as weight gain, dental cavities, poor nutrition, and increased triglyceride levels, which can boost your heart attack risk… Recommendations from the American Heart Association — not a part of official U.S. dietary guidelines — say that most American women should consume no more than 100 calories a day from added sugar from any source, and that most American men should consume no more than 150 calories a day from added sugar, and that even less is better. That’s about 6 teaspoons of added sugar for women and 9 for men.

It’s prudent to consume any added sugar only in moderation. Consider these tips to cut back:

  • Avoid sugary, nondiet sodas. Drink water or other unsweetened beverages instead.
  • Choose breakfast cereals carefully. Although healthy breakfast cereals can contain added sugar to make them more appealing to children, skip the non-nutritious, sugary and frosted cereals.
  • Eat fewer processed and packaged foods, such as sweetened grains like cookies and cakes and some microwaveable meals.
  • Snack on vegetables, fruit, low-fat cheese, whole-grain crackers, and low-fat, low-calorie yogurt instead of candy, pastries and cookies

Read the entire MayoClinic.com article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-fructose-corn-syrup/AN01588

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There is a Wiki page on How to Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup.  It notes that.. “the average American eats an astounding 41.5 lbs of high fructose corn syrup per year.”

THE MURDER OF CROWS at the Park Avenue Armory

 I went to see Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller: THE MURDER OF CROWS 
(http://www.armoryonpark.org/programs_events/detail/janet_cardiff_george_miller_murder_of_crows)
at the Park Avenue Armory and it was fabulously dark and eerie.   The Murder of Crows is a sound installation/sound play.  There are ninety-eight speakers surrounding the audience who are sitting on chairs in a pool of light in the middle of the darkened and cavernous Drill Hall.  There’s a great description and review in the New York Times.

The Park Avenue Armory building itself is gorgeous.  I joined as a member after taking a tour of the building.  It’s under renovation and deserves to be restored.  The Park Avenue Armory was designed by architect Charles Clinton in the Gothic Revival style and dedicated in 1880. It is the only armory in the United States to be built and furnished with private funds.

Park Avenue Armory, New York
Park Avenue Armory, New York – photograph by Elliott Kaufman Photography

It originally served as the headquarters and administrative building for the 7th New York Militia Regiment, known as the Silk Stocking Regiment due to the disproportionate number of its members who were part of the city’s social elite, including the Vanderbilts, Van Rensselaers, Roosevelts, Stewarts, Livingstons and Harrimans. Built as both a military facility and a social club, the reception rooms on the first floor and the Company Rooms on the second floor were designed by the most prominent designers and artists of the day including Louis Comfort Tiffany, Stanford White, Herter Brothers and Pottier & Stymus.

Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Miuccia Prada, autumn/winter 2004–5, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Miuccia Prada, autumn/winter 2004–5
Photograph © Toby McFarlan Pond
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Chester Higgins Jr./ The New York Times
An ensemble with a coat of duck featherspainted gold and a skirt of silk tulle embroidered with gold threads.

I went to see the Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.  While the clothes were lovely and the exhibit did a good job of explaining the designer’s focus and interests, it was not as good as the Museum’s Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” last year.  There is a great review available from The New York Times

 

 

The Common Pursuit at the Laura Pels

I blew off the gym today and instead went to see a play with my hubby (OK, so he went to the gym but I didn’t). We saw the Roundabout Theater production of The Common Pursuit by Simon Gray.  It was not as good as it could have been.

Unfortunately, the cast was uneven– the main two characters didn’t carry off their respective roles while the supporting characters did pretty well.  It may not have been their fault however, it was still a pretty talky play.